\ ˈkrest How to pronounce crest (audio) \

Definition of crest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a showy tuft or process on the head of an animal and especially a bird — see bird illustration
b : the plume or identifying emblem worn on a knight's helmet also : the top of a helmet
c(1) : a heraldic representation of the crest
(2) : a heraldic device depicted above the escutcheon (see escutcheon sense 1) but not upon a helmet
d : a ridge or prominence on a part of an animal body
2 : something suggesting a crest especially in being an upper prominence, edge, or limit: such as
a : peak especially : the top line of a mountain or hill
b : the ridge of a roof
c : the top of a wave
3a : a high point of an action or process and especially of one that is rhythmic
b : climax, culmination at the crest of his fame


crested; cresting; crests

Definition of crest (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to furnish with a crest also : crown
2 : to reach the crest of crested the hill and looked around

intransitive verb

: to rise to a crest waves cresting in the storm

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from crest


crestal \ ˈkre-​stᵊl How to pronounce crestal (audio) \ adjective
crestless \ ˈkrest-​ləs How to pronounce crestless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of crest in a Sentence

Noun at that point the filmmaker was at the crest of his critical acclaim, which included winning an Oscar the hiking party reached the crest of the mountain just as it began to thunder Verb We crested the hill and looked out around us.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun From the overlook, the Shenipsit travels north along the crest of the mountain, with several more overlooks showcasing the early winter view. Peter Marteka,, "A snowy climb to the top of Great Hill Mountain in East Hampton after the season’s first snowfall," 6 Dec. 2019 Kempe, who tallied 37 points during his first full season in 2017-18 before dropping to 28 points last season, is at the crest of that new wave. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "Kings coach on Adrian Kempe: ‘He’s got to be way more productive than he’s been’," 16 Oct. 2019 The room’s one extravagance is a small plaster medallion with the Mencken family crest. Jacques Kelly,, "A new chapter at Baltimore’s H. L. Mencken House: Hollins Street treasure undergoing $1.5 million restoration," 31 Aug. 2019 Forecasters anticipate Barry could bring about 19 to 20 feet of storm surge to the Mississippi River with a crest expected early Saturday morning. Doha Madani, NBC News, "New Orleans ordered to shelter in place as Tropical Storm Barry moves in," 12 July 2019 Ahead of its sixth season in existence, Louisville City FC unveiled a new crest. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "Morning Coffee: Is it just us, or is this college basketball season particularly crazy?," 17 Dec. 2019 As the Unipiper crests the speed bump, the driver of a Subaru parked on the street is seen accelerating and backing into him. Andrew Theen | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Unipiper hit while riding – on 2 wheels - on SE Portland bike-friendly street," 13 Dec. 2019 The fossil shows a creature with a projecting face, large canine teeth, flaring cheekbones, a crest atop its head that anchored strong jaw muscles, and a long, narrow braincase that held a brain the size of a chimpanzee’s. Kate Wong, Scientific American, "The Face of the Earliest Human Ancestor, Revealed," 7 Dec. 2019 But the week leading up to Hawkeyes game was a wave’s crest. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "A look at the best moments of Gophers football’s historic season," 6 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And the Snares, one of several chains of New Zealand islands, feature crested penguins endemic to the islands. Fran Golden / Bloomberg, Time, "8 Cruise Destinations to Inspire Your 2020 Travel Plans," 27 Dec. 2019 For the first time in orchestra history, the fund crested $200 million, leaping $14.2 million to $205.7 million. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Transition, enterprise, and success: 2019 Classical Music Year in Review," 24 Dec. 2019 The Ohio River crested Thursday evening at 48.8 feet, solidly in the action stage but the river is settling back down. Sarah Brookbank,, "Yes, the Ohio River is a bit high, but not in minor flood stage," 20 Dec. 2019 This tide of positive attention crested in June with the award of a Michelin star. Frier Mccollister, Orange County Register, "The Taste: Taco Maria’s Michelin-starred chef shares a secret sauce," 18 Dec. 2019 The funding crested during the Cold War but continues through the present. Greg Jefferson,, "Air Force tech startup turns Silicon Valley history on its head," 13 Dec. 2019 The co-working startup’s valuation crested at $47 billion this year with SoftBank’s investment, then plummeted to $7.8 billion in a bailout engineered by Son. Peter Elstrom, Fortune, "‘Unicorn Porn:’ How SoftBank’s Investing Style Boosts Paper Profits—But Not Real-World Value," 26 Nov. 2019 The conflict crested in 2012, when the comedian Daniel Tosh, during a routine at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, was heckled by a woman who objected to the idea that rape jokes might be funny. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Daniel Sloss Shows How Comedians Should Talk About Rape," 6 Nov. 2019 On Monday, the Ladesich family got the text message that Malibu schools were closed because of the Getty fire, and anxieties crested again., "How parents and teachers can calm kids’ fire anxiety," 30 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crest.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of crest


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for crest

Noun and Verb

Middle English creste, from Anglo-French, from Latin crista; probably akin to Latin crinis hair

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about crest

Time Traveler for crest

Time Traveler

The first known use of crest was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for crest

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crest.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for crest


\ ˈkrest How to pronounce crest (audio) \

Kids Definition of crest

1 : a showy growth (as of flesh or feathers) on the head of an animal
2 : the highest part or point of something the crest of the wave the crest of a hill
3 : an emblem or design used to represent a family, group, or organization

Other Words from crest

crested \ ˈkres-​təd \ adjective


\ ˈkrest How to pronounce crest (audio) \

Medical Definition of crest

1 : a showy tuft or process on the head of an animal and especially a bird
2 : a process or prominence on a part of an animal body: as
a : the upper curve or ridge of the neck of a quadruped (as a horse) also : the mane borne on such a crest
b : a ridge especially on a bone the crest of the tibia — see frontal crest, occipital crest

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on crest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crest

Spanish Central: Translation of crest

Nglish: Translation of crest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crest for Arabic Speakers

Comments on crest

What made you want to look up crest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be intimidated or subdued

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!